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Three journalists assaulted while trying to report on altercation in Nakhchivan, their equipment broken

(IRFS/IFEX) - On the morning of 27 August 2008, a confrontation occurred between the police and residents of the village of Nahrem, in Azerbaijan's Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan. During the confrontation, Radio Liberty correspondents Malahet Nasibova and Ilgar Nasibov, and IRFS correspondent Elman Abbasov were assaulted. The three journalists were at the village to report on the altercation, Abbasov told IRFS.

"We were attacked by members of the village's administration, the chairman of the municipality and people in civilian clothes," Abbasov said. "The 7-8 people who attacked us were intoxicated. They violently grabbed the video camera and dictaphone I had with me, as well as the Radio Liberty correspondents' photo camera and dictaphone, and Malahet Nasibova's mobile telephone. They smashed them on the ground and kicked them. These people also continuously slapped, kicked and punched us. As a result of this, the screen on IRFS's camera was broken, and my colleagues and I sustained serious injuries. The video camera was recording directly onto a DVD disk and when it hit the ground the disk was destroyed, as was the recording. Police were present and witnessed the incident, but did nothing to intervene."

The camera and dictaphone were later returned to the journalists. However, the screen on the IRFS camera is damaged and all files on the camera's memory card were deleted.

The journalists attempted to file a complaint at the Nahrem police department but it was not accepted.

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